Wyndham Manning speaks…about animal ethics?

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Bizarre.

Twenty Dane County supervisors sent a letter to UW-Madison Chancellor Biddy Martin on Friday questioning the university’s process for deciding whether monkey experimentation is ethical.

In the letter, the supervisors asked whether that committee, the All-Campus Animal Care and Use Committee, is the right body to look into ethical questions.

The first signature on the letter was from none other than our tireless student advocate Wyndham Manning.

Ignoring Manning’s ineptitude, which I am very surprised Johnson would want anything to do with via an endorsement, what does the County Board think is going to happen? Biddy Martin is going to go to this debate of semi-qualified people, form a steadfast conclusion on one of the trickiest area of applied ethics, and end all primate research on campus, costing the University tens of millions of dollars?

Time for a new strategy guys.

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9 Responses to “Wyndham Manning speaks…about animal ethics?”

  1. lukas Says:

    “Time for a new strategy guys.”

    So you don’t see the value of getting the message in the paper? I’m pretty sure nobody thought that the UW would instantaneously change their policy on the basis of this letter. It’s part of a larger effort.

    Manning comments on something that is campus-related and that is bad?

    • Alec S Says:

      See comment below.

      Manning didn’t comment on anything. He just signed his name. Which makes the situation even more golden.

      • lukas Says:

        But signing his name is a public statement. He’s right there in the paper as supporting this.

        I mean, you noticed it, right? That’s gotta count for something.

  2. Kyle S Says:

    Yea, raising awareness of the fact that UW mistreats primates in a way that would horrify the rest of the developed world…totally “bizarre” indeed.

    Are you even aware of what’s going on in UW labs, or is this just the typical knee-jerk anti-progressive criticism?

    • Alec S Says:

      I realize that if someone disagrees with you they are automatically uninformed, knee jerk, and decidedly “anti-progressive,” but just for the record:

      http://badgerherald.com/oped/2010/01/17/dont_monkey_around_w.php

      Attempting to answer the question of whether any experimentation on primates is ethical is much different than attempting to expose or raise awareness of specific instances in which it clearly is not. I am all for the second option, and I think anyone who is actually interested in seeing some ACTUAL changes in UW policies occur should be too.

  3. Kyle Szarzynski Says:

    See, this is how debate works: When arguing with someone, or when one disagrees with someone else, the idea is that each thinks he’s right and the other is wrong (or “uninformed”). Sorry if that hurts your feelings. Further, I have never seen you write anything but criticism about anything relating to the (crazy, hysterical, indeed evil) local “far left” and so I believe “knee jerk anti-progressive” is a proper characterization for your words here and elsewhere.

    As far as “ACTUAL changes” go, I think I’ll leave it to those WHO ARE ACTUALLY DOING SOMETHING ABOUT THIS ISSUE to know what’s most effective. It is Rick Marolt’s belief (as well as my own) that testing on primates is always immoral; you disagree, and that’s fine. We can all achieve common ground by fighting against the obvious examples of what can only be described as animal torture – ie the UW performs experiments on monkeys which involve strapping them to a seat and drilling holes through their craniums to extract liquid in the brain (“push-pull method”), a procedure which has resulted in many animal deaths and almost always serious brain injury. But here’s the problem: In order for this to happen, we would ALL need to be fighting against this.

    To reiterate a point I’ve made approximately 40,000 times, the far left crazies may make for any easy target because there is no one else to criticize, but the truth is that most in their groups would be happy to coalition with the “center-left” types, compromising (see above example) to get results. As it is, these “center-left” activists just don’t exist. I see a lot of these people criticizing and ridiculing (in the Herald, for example), but strangely enough, never doing anything. I guess there are the College Dems, but other than fielding an aspiring politician every spring for local office, I’m not sure they do much of anything – and I say this as someone who has been to their meetings and receives regular emails. I also say this with sincere regret; any activism to the left of center is good activism, especially on a campus such as this – i.e. one in which the pundits outnumber the activists like 2 to 1.

    Ultimately, Rick and co. are doing everything in their power to advance the primate rights struggle. They’ve identified this issue as one with very public awareness around it, and so they’ve decided that pushing it into public view must be the starting point. This means establishing a Task Force to address the issue (good to see they got 14 of the non-PD liberals to actually do something positive for a change) at the County Board level, and circulating a petition on campus. From there, their strategy will develop with more concrete aims; activist battles always progress in this way, inching toward their goal through the adoption of different strategies as the circumstances require, as anyone involved in these types of things knows.

    And I think it’s time to retire this obsessive ad hominem criticism of Wyndham. I’m not the guy’s biggest fan either, but seriously, he hasn’t done anything bad enough to warrant the type of abuse that you people constantly hurl at him. Anyway, I’d much rather have a guy who regularly votes the right way (ie he’s shown consistent courage as one of the few Board members to always vote in such a way as to undermine the Sheriff’s despicable xenophobia) than an ultra-dedicated right-winger as the District’s representative.

    In sum, good job Rick and good job Manning. And props to animal rights’ activists everywhere.

    • Alec S Says:

      See, this is how debate works: When arguing with someone, or when one disagrees with someone else, the idea is that each thinks he’s right and the other is wrong (or “uninformed”).

      How are you a philosophy major and yet this is still your working definition of an argument/debate? Accusing a person of being unable to get past their knee-jerk reactions and being uninformed about the facts is to make unwarranted assumptions and to be arrogant, not to disagree.

      Further, I have never seen you write anything but criticism about anything relating to the (crazy, hysterical, indeed evil) local “far left” and so I believe “knee jerk anti-progressive” is a proper characterization for your words here and elsewhere.

      Disagree. I have always written that the activism of the local far left (is that not a fair characterization?) has the potential to be incredibly relevant and important, if channeled correctly. I have only disagreed with some of the ways it has been applied.

      As far as “ACTUAL changes” go, I think I’ll leave it to those WHO ARE ACTUALLY DOING SOMETHING ABOUT THIS ISSUE to know what’s most effective.

      Only those actually signing letters and organizing small-time debates can know what is effective? Reason and logic are capacities only available to the activists themselves? Not everyone is going to be an activist. Why does the campus left require the inclusion of center-left activists in the ground game in order to adopt their more widely held views that they agree with?

      You write about how awareness is important, and then bash writers that are doing just that as not “doing anything.”

      And I think it’s time to retire this obsessive ad hominem criticism of Wyndham. I’m not the guy’s biggest fan either, but seriously, he hasn’t done anything bad enough to warrant the type of abuse that you people constantly hurl at him.

      Agreed, it has gotten excessive at times, though I don’t think this blog has engaged in anything over the top.

      In sum, good job Rick and good job Manning.

      Rick needs to use the better arguments that are already out there. Will someone please introduce him to an “Argument from Marginal Cases”?

  4. asmwatch Says:

    Read the Herald tomorrow for a Marolt throwdown with Sandgren. Also, regardless of whether or not it is ethical, the committee tasked with exploring the issue seemed to resist this pretty well.

    Now, it’s not as if this isn’t a debate that hasn’t gone on for decades, but it is one that I think gets more pertinent to re-evaluate.

  5. The Wisconsin Drama « Thinking Outside The Skinner Box Says:

    […] “Wyndham Manning speaks…about animal ethics?” at The Sconz blog (February 9, 2010) […]

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